According to the American Counseling Association “Counseling is a professional relationship that empowers diverse individuals, families and groups to accomplish mental health, wellness, education and career goals.”
Our world is increasingly becoming more interconnected. This globalization highlights the need for highly trained mental health professionals to address trauma, addiction, depression, academic and career concerns in clinics, hospitals, schools, and universities.
Counselors are highly-trained professionals assisting people to live more joyful, productive lives. No one would seriously doubt that life is challenging and, at times, heart-breaking—we need only to look around.
Then, there are others issues that while seemingly less pressing, can be very big concerns for the person grappling with them. A good example of such concerns involve career and vocational identity issues. School counselor and career counselors help students and adult clients address career and employment concerns through testing, interviewing and, of course, counseling. Good career “fit” certainly is an asset to optimal mental health and, conversely, people unhappy in their job (or those unemployed) likely will be depressed.
The counseling profession is growing exponentially. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov/) projects most counseling fields are growing much more rapidly than most professions. So, students and others interested in the counseling profession will find there are jobs available provided they are willing to stretch both their comfort zone and, in some cases, their time zone.
Anyone interested in becoming a counselor must be healthy themselves. Counseling is challenging work and maintaining one’s own physical and mental health is critical for success in the profession. Counselors must also be open-minded, nonjudgmental, tolerate ambiguity, and be lifelong learners.